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Carter and Okeafor Still Improving
June 5 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
In the 49ers early practices of their final mini-camp, there were two pass rushers that stood out. Andre Carter and Chike Okeafor both appeared to have progresses from last season. Jim Mora Jr. has spent time with all of the defensive linemen this off-season, helping them improve their pass rush skills, while they were working out at the team’s facility.

For Carter in particular, the extra work appears to have paid off. All reports about Carter this off-season have been very positive. Carter appears to have made veteran like strides this off-season, and he is ready to carry over the improvements to the regular season.

Chike Okeafor was having a career year before being hampered by an injury last season. But now that he is fully healthy, Okeafor is ready to pick up where he left off. He will have to challenge John Engelberger for a starting position. Regardless of his role, Okeafor should be able to contribute this season in a big way.

The improvement in both these players will be a key to the 49ers success this coming season. The team lacked a real aggressive pass rush last season, and made an improvement in this area a focal point of the off-season. The team feels very strongly about the players it currently has on the roster (though they have not ruled out making a further addition to the squad), and likes that there will be plenty of competition across the line.

Further Notes:
Steve Mariucci was encouraged by Mike Rumph’s continued play in the starting defensive lineman as Jason Webster nursed his injury. Mariucci reported that Rumph was able to hold his own in practice, and benefited from playing against the teams’ starting receivers.

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